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I absolutely agree with this.. Mindfulness is the basic starting point of a serious spiritual path. Personally, I consider everything else (mostly reading) as an intellectual entertainment.
thezennist: I have not read Gauḍapāda but I have read works of Shankara (i'm from India). Personally, I'm influenced by Buddha's Dhamma and Ramana Maharishi's concept of Advaita philosophy. At the outset, both may seem to be propounding conflicting truths. But to me, the essence, finding deliverance from rebirth and attaining eternal peace, if it is by nirvana (I note the, possibly intentional, lack of clarity of what exactly constitutes nirvana - divinity or shunyata) or realizing Self does not matter. The path is same, through my own efforts I strive to be free from body, gross mind, and the ego. Somehow at a practical level, for me the experience of truth (however limited or basic) leads me to not lay excessive emphasis on finer details of ultimate end and just focus on the path (Vipassana method in my case). Further, the Dhamma and its methods makes it comparatively easier to pursue the path as there is no "seeking" at a level of meditation. My point is these contemplation on origins or relationship between Advaita / Buddhism may be interesting but not really relevant.
thezennist: "Advaita owes its birth and development to Buddhism.", Can you explain further? As per my understanding Upanishads which have glimpses of non-duality predates Buddhism. Further Advaita and Buddhism are poles apart in the ultimate truths despite the seemingly similar path. Not here to argue, but to really understand.
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Apr 1, 2016